Slow, steady, long held poses to create ease in the body.
Yin ~ that which is hidden, still, stable, calm.
On a physical level we target the body’s yin tissues to increase our range of motion, our mobility…. to juice our joints. The practice involves less muscular engagement than our yang form of exercise, providing a wonderful balance.
When we practice yin yoga we hold poses for some time, as it generally takes the connective tissue time to relax - the longer the hold, the more benefit is derived. There is no rush. Our breath then becomes our focus, our barometer, allowing us to tune into our body. Awareness of our body grows, the mobility of our joints increases and we begin to move with grace and fluidity. Stillness in the body while we practice helps us to calm the breath.
Energetically yin yoga increases our vitality and creates balance within our body’s systems, by stimulating the flow of chi (prana) throughout the body’s meridians (channels) and their related organs. When we have an imbalance or blockage of chi within the body this can lead to illness. Our practice has the power to heal and balance the body by pushing, pulling and pressurizing these tissues.
Our practice gives us time to feel emotions that otherwise may go unnoticed in our busy day-to-day lives. We observe what arises, pleasant and unpleasant emotions and sensations, then without judgement, we let them go. This highlights that everything in life is in flux, changing and impermanent.
With yin we are awakening our contemplative nature, becoming more aware and attentive to what is stirring within us. We are enlivening our mind and gaining clarity of thought. The result of our practice is increased compassion for ourselves and others, we realize true happiness is within and we can express our wisdom.
Yang is about changing the world - Yin accepts the world for the way it is.
Gratitude to my teachers Sarah Powers and Jo Phee.